History of a Colour Cochineal Red

History of a Colour Cochineal Red

The Metmuseum  has produced a series of YouTube videos in a series of lectures under the title of “Sunday at the Met” 

Cochineal produces a red crimson dye.  Elena Phipp, Textile historian takes us through its history via the textile collection at the Metropolitan Museum. 

The story starting off with the history of red as a colour and following the history of dyes stuff around the globe you can easily listen and stitch to Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Colour (that is what I did ) so settle back and hear a very interesting well researched lecture on the history of this dyestuff.


  1. Thanks for this – the dyes and their history and chemistry was one of my favorite things in the study of textiles in college. I especially loved the purple made from mollusks in the Mediterranen, which was "royal purple" due to it’s scarcity and expense. I wish someone would do that story.

  2. Gerry perhaps your inability to access the site iwas just a momentary thing as the talk is hosted on Youtube. I have just checked the link and it’s fine but here it is the Youtube link so you can go direct.

    I looked for it on the met site as well but could not find it but you can subscribe to the Mets videos here http://www.youtube.com/user/metmuseum

    Hope this helps

    Sharon B
  3. If anyone wants to read more about the cultural aspects of how cochineal red came from South America to Europe then they might want to read A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield. It’s one of those historical books told as a story and I enjoyed the read. It only touches lightly on the artistic aspects, though.

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